Visualizing Numbers

“Data visualization is another form of visual art that grabs our interest and keeps our eyes on the message.” (Data Visualization beginner’s guide) After learning more about data visualization and how the viewer could understand an image. Most graphs representing statistics are bar graphs or pie charts, which is a primary way to convey information.

Bar Graph: MathWorks

The bar graph above is boring. We all understand what is being portrayed, but there is no excitement. According to the article What Makes a Good Visualization? It is crucial to take into account the viewer, who is going to see this piece of information. The designer needs to make sure that the visualization has the following; interestingness, integrity, usefulness, beauty, story, and news.

Sarah Illenberger

Sarah Illenberger is known for her visualization of data; she uses statistical information and represents them using objects you wouldn’t think would work to showcase that information. After looking at different examples of Illenberger’s work, I decided I wanted to try and represent statistical data with objects I found in my home.

After looking around my house, I realized I had a lot of cardboard boxes, and I am trying to help the environment by going green and being more environmentally friendly. One of the easiest things that help the environment is recycling. I started doing research on recycling, and I found statistics about which countries are the best at recycling and which countries need to improve. Below is the data visualization I created.

Created by: Kim Kerremans.

I took a picture of these boxes, which basically looks like a 3D bar graph. Then transferred the image to Photoshop, where I added the text above each set of boxes. I wanted to represent these countries through boxes, but I think it’s more impactful to see the amount of cardboard being recycled compared to a boring bar. This image shows you a representation of how countries need to improve and do better when it comes to recycling.

Understanding how data visualization works helps designers and viewers create and understand the data being represented. Everyday we find data within visuals, whether it’s a menu at a restaurant, a map, or a simple bar chart. We understand the data being expressed visually. That was the goal for the image I created about recycling, but to do it in an interesting way.

Works Cited:

“Bar.” MATLAB & Simulink, http://www.mathworks.com/help/matlab/creating_plots/types-of-bar-graphs.html.

“Data Visualization Beginner’s Guide: a Definition, Examples, and Learning Resources.” Tableau Software, http://www.tableau.com/learn/articles/data-visualization.

McCandless, David. “What Makes A Good Data Visualization?” Information Is Beautiful, Information Is Beautiful, 30 July 2020, informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/what-makes-a-good-data-visualization/.

“Sarah Illenberger’s Infographics.” ALL MY EYES, allmyeyes.blogspot.com/2010/10/sarah-illenbergers-infographics.html.


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